“Whack-a-Mole,” [Surprises]!


Lately I think that my mental illness is a lot like “whack-a-mole.” This is that ‘sophisticated’ game where you try to bash in the heads of little moles with a padded hammer. Score is kept by the number of the heads you crush.

These guys will pop-up out of any of 12 holes on the table and you must anticipate exactly which hole they make their appearance. They’re crafty and can jump up anywhere. And they come at you so fast. (I have been known to “foam-at-the-mouth” in a mad pursuit to destroy them. Moles beware)!

I was thinking today that my mental illness is a lot like this. I must stand and face a dozen different issues that seem to present themselves at any given moment. Things move at hypnotic pace that can spiral into a frenzy.

The issues I face are an awful lot like “whack-a-mole.” I seem to always respond but never initiate the battle. I dance but never lead. I must react but can never act.

Issues like:

  • handling money
  • driving a car
  • loving your spouse
  • being a good dad (or mom)
  • relationship with the church, community
  • being a good neighbor
  • paying my bills on time, taxes
  • finding a real friend
  • doing “ministry” things

This is “whack-a-mole” at its best. As hard as I can I slam them with my hammer, but they keep returning! I belatedly discover that my enthusiasm was to no avail.

The issues always come up, but I simply don’t know how to deal with them. I discover I’m always on the defense, but seldom on the offense. These things are always a surprise. (But not really.)

What can I say? I tried to beat them down and yet they prevailed. These malicious “moles” with their own agendas. I tried my hardest, but to no avail. I always respond, but to no real victory. Honestly, there are times I don’t know what to do.

So I sit and wait, I tell no one of my dilemma. I look at the things that have gone well, and the things not so well. I guess I’m left with a deep insecurity. I simply believe no good has come from being absorbed with winning at “whack-a-mole.”

But I must get involved, it is a matter of life vs. death. Where can the mentally ill find any course of hope? And that I guess is the real “rub” it is Hope. Hope is the real factor in my own depression. Without it I spiral downward, and crash and burn.


Only hope can bring me through this. And Jesus.


ybic, Bryan


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